Hands and Brain

Need to warm up? Need to practice scales? Keep your chops up with this exercise.

Hands and Brain
7
Well hello there UG readers, today I am going to give hopefully a useful idea to inject into your warm-up. So first it is a constant picking pattern, a simple upstroke, followed by and upstroke, proceeding to a downstroke. So if I was to put this into a tab it looks something like this: Fig. 1
   u u d 
|--------
|--0-----
|----0---
|------0-
|--------
|--------
Now why would I want to do something that simple because I am a complicated guitarist. But give that a chance with different rhythms. So do triplets, 8th notes and quarter notes at like 90bpm. We aren't looking to shred with this just yet. Now it helps a little with descending sweep runs with no repeat on the top Fig. 2
  u      u  d
|-8-12-8-----
|--------10--
|-----------9
|------------
|------------
|------------
I literally just thought of that so figured why not? Besides that the descending often needs more work than ascending. Moving on to the brain part of this now! I have seen it advocated that you should learn every scale by intervals along one string, and then do arpeggios and then you have internalized the intervals. Now what when we do have our scale intervals worked out on each string? Well now we are going to practice them in groups of 3 on each string. Your picking hand will retain the constant pattern while we go down the scales notes. Just hold the triads and let them ring out, you can work on muting later. At this point I really must encourage that you improvise the notes that go over your picking pattern. So here are 2 examples of what I might do. Fig. 3 - Major Scale PM if using distortion, trust me.
|----------------------------
|-12----11----9---7---5---4--
|---10----9----7---5---4---2-
|-----12---10---9---7---5---3
|----------------------------
|----------------------------
Well I locked onto like 3 shapes there, but that's just the sound that I like when going up and down, explore different shape patterns on different string sets. Now let's look at harmonic minor in Bb. Fig. 4
|------------------------------
|-11----10-----7---6---4---2---
|---11----10----8---6---3---2--
|-----10----8----7---4---3---1-
|------------------------------
|------------------------------
You could also just hold down a chord shape and search for extensions with your fingers, find inversions on the strings. If I wanted in D major and I wanted to get used to the major scale I could just do diatonic arpeggios. Fig. 5
|-------------------------------------------
|-------------------------------------------
|-2---4---6---7----9-----11----12----14-----
|--4---5---7---9----11-----12----14-----16--
|---5---7---9---10----12-----14----16-----17
|-------------------------------------------
This one is cool for getting to know new scales, going up the major and minor shapes on each string. That is all for today. Hope it helps your picking and visualization around your fretboard. Until next time. Keep rocking.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    AwesomeOne3
    Great warm up but, you need to ply from the heart, not the mind.
    Sir_Taffey
    It helped me internalize a number of scales in different positions and fingerings, and from that I can express myself It starts with the mind when you are learning or want to refresh
    GuitardudeDK
    You write poetry from the heart aswell, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't know the alphabet or grammar.
    Dynamight
    You write poetry from the brain too. The heart is just a pump for blood circulation, it has no direct effect on creativity.
    AwesomeOne3
    true, but Stevie Ray Vaughn, if you listen to the 1999 reissue of his album Texas Flood, he says on one bonus track that f you play form the mind, you have trouble with fingerings, if you play from the heart and let it all out, then your ok.
    cmvideo
    I like the concept... I've been playing a long time and this is helpful. Would have helped me lose some of my useless practice habits 10 years earlier than I did. However, I didn't really know what the point of the lesson was until the end of the article. You should introduce your lesson and it's intention a little better in the beginning. It starts off seemingly as a picking exercise to use in warm up and then turns into an interval lesson.
    Sir_Taffey
    Noted I did seem to go off track with my objective. Glad it was a worthwhile read